In the UK, there is a strip of sand about 2 miles long. There are no arcades or Kiss Me Qwik hats. No rugged cliffs or stunning coves. No quaint tea rooms or bespoke art galleries. No surf or cobbled streets. It does however have portaloos (and sometimes the lock works without inserting 20p), a hot food and ice cream you van and 100 Iron Men created in the image of Anthony Gormley randomly dotted the length of this land.
I am not a religious person and the closest I would get to being a hippy is that I have done tye-die and I recycled before the council provided the bins but , to me, there is something indescribably spiritual about this place. There is no doubt that the presence of the sculptures has an influence on this but even without them there is something, which I can’t put my finger on that makes this place my “go to place”.
It is not beautiful, scenic or attractive for sunbathing or to wander barefoot in the waves. As you look out from the concrete steps that run from the concrete ‘promenade’ (attractive eh?) and look to the left you can see the skyline of nearby Liverpool and in the foreground, large industrial cranes and warehouses. However, if you turn your gaze out to sea you will see the wind turbines which, along with the incoming and outgoing of the tide, have a rhythm as they steadily turn in the breeze.
The climate along this stretch of coast, with the exception of the past couple of months, is usually blustery to say the least. Venturing out for a sunset, early into the New Year, is not for the fainthearted and if I want company, this comes at the price of a hot chocolate. That said, for me, this is the best time of day to be in this special place. The mixtures of red and orange and dark night are strangely hypnotic. I am not alone in feeling this and you would never be in solitude as others too feel that it is bizarrely an almost sacred place. But rather than feel that other people intrude on this place, I want to share in my fondness and enthusiasm for it. And to add weight to this, someone in the Home Office agrees with me as it features inside the pages of a British passport! #crosbybeach #seftoncoast #anthonygormleyanotherplace